On Wednesday, the key news for the UK results diary will be results from supermarket giant Tesco, while there may also be interest in a trading update from recruiter Robert Walters.
Meanwhile, US markets and the crypto industry will be buzzing around the direct listing of crypto trading platform Coinbase.
Tesco checks its receipts
Results from Tesco PLC (LON:TSCO) will cover the 12 months to the end of February, which virtually coincides with the coronavirus pandemic period.
As an essential retailer, the supermarket giant’s shops have remained open throughout the period while its online offering has helped it gain market share for the first time since the advent of colour telly (or so it seems), as the German hard-discounters, Aldi and Lidl, have suffered for want of much of an online presence.
Despite that, profits aren’t going to be stellar for the full year, according to Sophie Lund-Yates at Hargreaves Lansdown.
“Analysts expect operating profit to fall around 37.5%. It’s important to focus on the longer-term picture. We’d like to know what expectations are for margins. As the group continues to ramp up investment, we wonder what that means for the operating margins (currently around 4.2%) Tesco worked so hard to rebuild,” Lund Yates said.
“One of the biggest threats for all the grocers is enormous competition. That means we’ll be looking closely for any commentary on trading in the run-up to Easter. Tesco put in a very strong performance over the Christmas period, and some analysts expected consumers to pull out all the stops for Easter this year. We wonder if Tesco was able to repeat that strength in the run-up to the latest round of celebrations,” she added.
Robert Walters eyes post-COVID jobs market
Robert Walters PLC (LON:RWA) has already reported better than expected results for 2020 despite the chaos inflicted on the job market by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, so the update will be eyed to see how 2021 has worked out for the group so far.
There will also be interest in how the picture looks for the year ahead as economies around the world begin to reopen as cases of the disease recede in numerous countries.
Coinbase looks to cash in on crypto boom
On the other side of the Atlantic, there will be high levels of interest in the direct listing of Coinbase, the cryptocurrency trading platform that is due to go public through a direct listing on the Nasdaq on Wednesday.
The company, which allows users to buy, sell, send and exchange cryptos including Bitcoin, was valued at around US$90bn in private share trading in early March, however, the ongoing boom in crypto trading could see its value surge when trading begins.
The company’s future as a publicly traded firm was also likely given a boost earlier this week when it reported that active users on its platform had surged to 6.1mln from 2.8mln in the fourth quarter of 2020, while verified users, those with Coinbase accounts, jumped to 56mln from 43mln.
Following the meteoric rise in the value of Bitcoin over 2020 and the first months of 2021, Coinbase’s flotation will be seen by many as a key litmus test of whether the crypto bull run is set to continue into the coming year.
Significant announcements for Wednesday April 14:
Trading announcements: PageGroup PLC (LON:PAGE), Audioboom Group PLC (LON:BOOM), Robert Walters PLC (LON:RWA)
Finals: Tesco PLC (LON:TSCO), Destiny Pharma PLC (LON:DEST), The Mission Group PLC (LON:TMG)